Felipe Reyes is on the best roll of his career and he wants it to last as long as possible.
The Spain big man played a vital role in his team’s gold medal win at last year's FIBA World championship in Japan and he was also named the MVP for Real Madrid as they captured the Spanish title this season.
He spoke exclusively to FIBA Europe’s Cindy Garcia-Bennett after the hosts secured their place in the last four of the EuroBasket with an 83-55 defeat of Germany in yesterday’s quarter-final.
FIBA Europe: Felipe, is it harder to win a gold medal for the first time or to win a second title?
Reyes: "I think it's harder winning second title in a row. All the teams want to beat us and they play the best basketball against us. We are the world champions and we know that as long as we play 100%, everything will be ok. But we have to give everything."
Reyes has worked hard to
improve his offensive game
Reyes: "We are very happy because we are playing well, we are doing a good job. I think we are in the right path."
FIBA Europe: You were a member of the Spain team that finished runners up to Lithuania at the 2003 EuroBasket. How confident are you that this time you can go all the way in Madrid?
Reyes: "We have more experience. In 2003 we had a young team. Last year we won the World Championship playing very well. This title has given us greater confidence and this is important in order to have a good tournament."
FIBA Europe: You are much more polished player on offense. What can you tell us about your improved jump shot?
Reyes: "I worked a lot this year and I think it was very good for me not only to play inside the zone but to play outside because before the defense always defended me outside the zone and let me shoot, now they have to be closer and for me this is better."
FIBA Europe: Jose Calderon continues to be the top player for Spain, what are your thoughts on him?
Reyes: "He is a very important player for Spain, he is our top point guard and he has played 30 minutes every game. I think the other point guards, Sergio Rodriguez and Carlos Cabezas are very good players but maybe they don't have the same confidence as Calderon. Calderon has had a good season and is playing at a high level."